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Why I hate boom trucks

Natman

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As for the "neoprenes", we were working on concrete that's had loaded semis driving over it for the last 50 years, at a radius of about 40' and a 900 pound load, so I didn't and still don't see the need. I sure can't control who wears a hard hat either. But you are correct, this is typical of a lot of job sites in these parts.
 

Oxbow

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Nov 22, 2012
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Idaho
As for the "neoprenes", we were working on concrete that's had loaded semis driving over it for the last 50 years, at a radius of about 40' and a 900 pound load, so I didn't and still don't see the need. I sure can't control who wears a hard hat either. But you are correct, this is typical of a lot of job sites in these parts.
Other than protecting the concrete finish what is the purpose of using neoprene?
 

cfherrman

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Jun 3, 2022
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Hays, Kansas
I was teamed up with this otherView attachment 306243 rig the other day at a fertilizer plant, both of us way out of our usual work areas. Thinking at first we'd be working up high, I asked him how much stick he had, 127' was his answer. Getting bored a couple hours later, I googled his rig and it's 103', seems a funny thing to not know or to fib about. The op was just a hired hand, I'd guess he just didn't know or confused it with another rig, would have been a pisser though to find out if he came up short, turns out we were working low anyway. Then I noticed the sheave wheel at the top of the boom was missing, the one that keeps the winch line off the boom. plus the guides and plastic wear points mid way, all gone. I thought about bringing it to his attention, but never did, he probably knew and didn't care was my best guess.

When you say "hey your sheave is missing" what people hear is "hey your sheave is missing and your an idiot because of it" so I haven't bothered with that kind of stuff
 

crane operator

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Mar 27, 2009
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sw missouri
. Then I noticed the sheave wheel at the top of the boom was missing, the one that keeps the winch line off the boom. plus the guides and plastic wear points mid way, all gone
If you are talking about the little wheel toward the top of the base section, very few boom trucks have them, or the roller guides on top of the base section.
 

Natman

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My National has it, this other National used to, guess they figured no need to replace it as it would just get swiped off again! Maybe now they know how tall the rig is anyway.

Looked like a decent job of cribbing on that Altec, maybe they were setup over a septic tank or something, or had hit the bypass switch on the LMI?
 
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John Griffin

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Apr 8, 2018
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264
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Huntsville, AL
I know there are people that do it all the time and for John it probably helps that its his own crew cutting the trees. As a construction guy with cranes I've had some tree guys ask if I would do tree work but I ve always turned it down. I just don't trust them even though I probably could I just don't like the idea of it.

I just remember watching a YouTube video a few years ago, I think it was "guilty of treeson". They had a brand new national 55L out on its first job. It was a tall pine/cedar looking tree. The first thing they did was the boom truck was about 20' too short for the tree they were cutting, mind you they have 151' of boom but they just hooked a strap to the bottom of the top 30' and cut it off and give it a big old swing. It was light and probably didn't really hurt anything but that wouldn't fly with me. Then as they're cutting they get down to the big trunk pieces which is probably still 40'+ some feet in the air. I can't remember the exact numbers but it was like 75'-80' radius and they had a capacity of like 5000lbs. But the pieces they were cutting were like 4500lbs. That to me would be way to close to the limit with a guy strapped to the tree cutting. Maybe they're that experienced and knew exactly where to cut but that close to the limit how easy would it be to be off 500lbs. I'm sure not every crew is like that but to me there's just too many unknowns and not worth the risk.

We work a good bit as the crane sub for several other tree companies. I'm very upfront with the other owners, my crane equals my show. What I decide we are going to pick is what we are going to pick, period. I've trained several of their climbers myself so the other owners usually just kinda get out of the way. We of course do a lot of our own cutting. I personally do quite a bit of it. I have a very good crane operator that works with me. I used to operate a lot more than I do now. I still pull trees off houses myself a good bit. I have a bunch of stuff I need to post in my work thread.

The 'guilty of treeson' guys are idiots with a crane. I don't know if they are really that bad or just doing junk to hype up their videos. There's much better ways to go about the crane being to short than what you are describing. We sometimes fold over a top and catch it on rope. Then we will hook the crane to it once it's hanging upside down if we can't land it for some reason on rope.

It is an ANSI Z133 (tree work rules) requirement that you don't work beyond 60% of the chart for a calculated pick weight. IE my crane is good for 10K lbs net lift capacity, my calculated pick weight can be a max of 6K. This is to allow for slight miscalculations and overages. We have made picks before where someone filled a cavity with concrete. It's of course much heavier than wood. We have a wet wood weight calculator so it's usually pretty easy to get close to the weight for a pick. It's not exact but it gives a very good idea. Don't want to have a crane try to lift a piece that is way to heavy for it. As you said, when it's a load taken up in the air, the crane has it whether it wants it or not. It's actually harder to figure the weight for tops vs logs. Knuckles are also heavier vs the same size log.

For the spirit of the thread, I have taken hundreds of trees down with a 2892s manitex boom truck. I certainly don't hate it and have actually purchased the same model myself. I see the appeal vs a truck crane. We do a lot of running around and setting up in residential jobsites. The lack of tail swing is very nice sometimes if you got to setup between houses. Setup short on the offhand side and no tail swing to worry about. I also see the other side of liking real cranes vs boom trucks. They are so much more stout. Usually much better chart, especially at distance. Don't have any of the weird mismatch going on from putting them on a universal chassis. Seems like the larger models of boom trucks get very top heavy.
 

skyking1

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Nov 3, 2020
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washington
That is match for the 1195 National I operated. They do a good job within their capability and yes, it was a top heavy pig and those speed limit signs in the corners were the gospel and not merely a suggestion. It was on air and that is a horrible feeling when you are just a little bit fast.
That tree chart reduction is about the same as the duty cycle reduction for working with the concrete bucket. I mostly did pourbacks for hanging imbeds, and only 1 deck. I'd rather let the pump truck have it :)
Sunset imbed pour.

IMG_20181116_162811.jpg

We bucket poured that deck in the same spot 50' up.
Set the steel and pandeck.

Screenshot 2024-02-25 6.36.27 AM.png

Screenshot 2024-02-25 6.40.55 AM.png
 

kshansen

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Mar 11, 2012
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Central New York, USA
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Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
Every time I see one of these pictures of boom trucks laying on their side I have flash backs to one of the dumber things I did many years ago. I think I mentioned it before but some may not have been here at that time.

I live all of maybe 1/2 mile from the quarry I worked at since 1970. In those early years company was easy going about letting guys borrow equipment for personal use. In 1984 I was building a three car garage and thought, as 98% of the work was being done by me and wife, it would be nice if I borrowed the little Koehring Bantam crane to make the job easier getting the trusses up on the walls. We had muscled up about 1/3 of them so asked the boss about the crane. He said no problem as it was the weekend and would only take a few hours. I had worked on and around the crane so knew setting a few light trusses would be an easy project.

After work that Friday instead of jumping on the motorcycle to go home I climbed in the cab of the Koehring and drove it home. Backed it in close to where I figured was half way between the stack of trusses and the walls of the garage. Just to be sure I fired up the 318 in the crane and raised the boom and swung it around and positioned the hook at the top of the stack of trusses. Next swung the boom over towards the new garage. I was a few feet short of there the next truss would need to be set so I started to boom out a bit. I'm sure someone notice one step I left out! Good thing is everything happend slow but did manage to judo-chop three of the already installed trusses and the end wall nearest the crane. Was able to boom down to get the crane back on it's tires and THEN PUT OUT THE OUTRIGGERS on that side! Looked boom and cable over real good nothing hurt! Put machine back in travel mode and returned to the quarry as now had an end wall and three or four trusses to repair before construction would resume.

I did tell the boss what happened and had the regular crane operator look it over before using it just to be safe.
 

skyking1

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I'd like that job. Might be an OK operator but the driving is the thing. Perhaps they should be delivered on a lowboy?
 

Acoals

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Dec 15, 2019
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Wisconsin
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Jack of all trades/Master of none
It's funny, the places I worked before I went on my own, nobody touched the brand new $500,000 truck if they couldn't be trusted to keep it upright. Those things can't be that top heavy. Can't be any worse than an excavator up on a tag trailer.
 

Truck Shop

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Dec 7, 2015
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WWW.
Drove a few as a wrench, design built cranes roll some, these beasts roll as if on a skate edge and at not much speed or cut of turn.
Made a tow to La Grande today speed limit for trucks on I84--65-----average speed today hovered
around 73 for trucks. Running on cruise at 65 I got passed by just about everyone. Hardly anyone
abides the law.
 
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